Toyota/Save Mart 350
Yahoo: Top 30 Drivers
Yahoo / Fantasy Live / Fox: Quick Picks
After an off week for the Cup Series, racing resumes this weekend at Sonoma Raceway for the first road course event of the year. The 1.99-mile, 10-turn track will host Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350, and the combination of left and right turns and elevation changes will put many drivers outside of their comfort zones.
A road course event also tests a crew chief's ability to manage a race. It takes such a long time to navigate Sonoma, that drivers can easily make a pit stop under green without losing a lap. As a result, crew chiefs have to know their fuel mileage down to the last ounce.
Not surprisingly given the unique nature of road course racing, certain drivers excel at the craft while others struggle. As a result, Sunday's race is a golden opportunity to utilize sleepers in the Yahoo game. In fact, using sleepers in each of the three tiers is a no brainer. Not only do several middle-tier drivers have top 10 potential at a road course, but the last thing you want to do is waste a start from one of the top options if the race boils down to fuel mileage.
1. KURT BUSCH, #41 MONSTER ENERGY, STEWART-HAAS RACING [YAHOO CLASS A]
Busch doesn't get nearly enough credit for his dominance at road courses. He leads all drivers a 5.4 average finish in the last five races at Sonoma, and he has four top five finishes during the stretch, including a win. In last year's race, he started and finished second while leading 43 of the 110 laps.
2. KYLE BUSCH, #18 MARS BRANDS/INTERSTATE BATTERIES, JOE GIBBS RACING [YAHOO CLASS A]
He is the defending winner of this weekend's race and a two-time Sonoma winner for his career, and Busch followed up his win at Sonoma with a second-place finish in the other road course event at Watkins Glen. He has also led the most laps of any driver over the last 10 road course races.
3. KEVIN HARVICK, #4 BUSCH BEER/JIMMY JOHNS, STEWART-HAAS RACING [YAHOO CLASS A]
Harvick has been a consistent road course driver throughout his career, and he is coming off an excellent year. He finished fourth at Sonoma in 2015, giving him four top 10s in his last six races here, and he led 29 laps and finished third at Watkins Glen. Expect Harvick to challenge for a top five again this weekend.
4. CARL EDWARDS, #19 ARRIS/STANLEY, JOE GIBBS RACING[YAHOO CLASS B]
He picked up a win at Sonoma in 2014, and Edwards is no stranger to delivering high-end finishes at road courses. He has five top five finishes in the last 10 road course events, including three finishes of third or better in the last five races at Sonoma.
5. JIMMIE JOHNSON, #48 LOWE'S/KOBALT TOOLS, HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS [YAHOO CLASS A]
Believe it or not, Johnson has a series-leading nine top 10s in the last 10 road course events, and he has reeled off seven straight top 10s at Sonoma. His 12.4 average finish here ranks third in the series, and he led a race-high 45 laps on his way to a sixth-place finish in last year's race.